Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Wow, each time they give me a new student to teach, it seems to get more challenging.
First was a 4-year old slightly dyslexic kid who couldn't read... But I handled him for a long time so eventually the daily drills paid off. We read every single day. And lessening his daily TV-viewing time also helped a lot. Although he still gets distracted, I find he is able to better focus.
Next was a 6-year old kid who had difficulty reading words with blends. But the father also helped me and made sure all the homework was accomplished, so eventually he was able to read even if I only met with him on weekends. Unfortunately, this kid was traumatized by an experience with a teacher when he was younger. When something new is presented to him, and he cannot understand it right away, he cries and refuses to try to do it. I hope he gets over it. I never got mad at him for not getting the answers correctly.
After that, I handled a 6-year old kid who used his fingers to add and subtract every single time, so he would always guess when the numbers went above ten. I wanted to do more for that kid, but I didn't have enough time with him. Hopefully the parents followed up and bought him flash cards.
My new student is 6-years old, and he doesn't even know how to read the words "the" and "to", which are relatively high frequency words. He was weaned on television and has much difficulty focusing. The mother told me that his teacher once noticed that the kid was moving his fingers in the air as if he were holding a Play Station controller... and I thought those things about playing too many games were just jokes. He is also slightly dyslexic, he sees mirror images of some letters. When he has a pencil in his hand, all he wants to do is draw, draw, draw. He can't just focus on the activity to be accomplished. And when you talk to him, his sentences are far too simple for his age. I really hope I can at least help this kid progress even just a bit...
In all cases, these kids watched too much TV. Scary. It really does have an effect on younger children. I remember when all my shows were scheduled because cartoons weren't available 24/7. Parents, know what your kids are watching!